"A dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life for as long as you live...Climb every mountain, ford every stream. Follow every rainbow til you find your dream." -- Oscar Hammerstein III remember the first time I saw The Sound of Music and heard the climactic reprise of "Climb Every Mountain" at the end of the movie. The Von Trapp family, facing their fears and turning their backs on all they loved and held dear, courageously crossed the mountains on foot to escape Nazi oppression in their homeland and step into freedom in a country not their own. It brought tears then, even as it does now, because at times I feel much like them.
As vegans with the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of those we know and those we've yet to meet, Joy and I are facing mountains of our own in this battle to end oppression and the destruction of the planet we call home. Even as we prepare to meet with local school officials to dialogue about nutrition and propose changes that could result in more options for those who have embraced a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, we realize that we are outnumbered by those whose hands are tied, or at least think they are, by government regulations. We have been disregarded and criticized by some, but we are determined to do all in our power to raise awareness of the animal cruelty, environmental destruction, and health problems associated with factory farming and a meat-based diet.
Sometimes fear rears its ugly head and discouragement sets in with a vengeance, especially when the evidence is so clear but others fail to see it or embrace change that would clearly benefit them. Perhaps that is the hardest part of the journey for me -- knowing that there is a better way but being unable to convince others of it. I know that I am healthier for having embraced a plant-based diet, and I know that they would be too. Yet the fact remains that none of us can persuade people to change who are unwilling to see the value in doing so for themselves. All we can do is be glad for the changes we have made and continue sharing our message with those who are open to receive it.
Being a vegan in a society where big money and politics dictates everything from agricultural policy to advertising is incredibly frustrating. It is tempting to throw in the towel because we don't believe that we, as individuals, can effect true change. But progress is being made, little by little, and we cannot afford to throw in the towel even when it seems that we are fighting against all odds. We need each other, and together we will be able to influence change in our society and in the lives of the people we love.
This dream of making a difference and effecting positive change -- for the animals, the planet, and better health -- will need all the love and patience we can give. Every day, for as long as we live.
Never, ever, ever give up. At the end of the day, the fight is worth it. The animals are worth it. WE are worth it!
Cheering you on,
Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved. www.feelingveggiegood.com